From intimate concerts in Oxford to sprawling Dorset fields with thousands watching the brilliant talents on main stage. This show represents the highlights of a years worth of painting live at concerts and on the streets of Oxford. The buzz of painting live never leaves room for lack of inspiration and hopefully some of the vitality that is felt at these occasions gains a new life through the works. The paintings are both a celebration of music and community and as always a connection to my own personal journey with appreciation to those whom encourage me and nourish my artistic growth.
There is something compelling about painting live at events or plein air amongst the City streets. The inspiration is immediate and sensual, I am in the real world and definitely not online. People are moving, the music or bustle often mesmerising and I am scrambling around with ink, paints and pastels in an orchestrated flurry of chaos that results in my own felt snapshot of the moment. The paintings are also a creative recording of time in how they capture the activity across the hours or minutes that the painting will span. This can result in words or more abstracted elements being added to layer up the experience I have in each place and time. The pieces are nearly always finished completely on site to retain the vitality and connection to that occasion. For me it is a circle of celebration.
Merlin Porter grew up in a small village north of Banbury whereby he had some of the idyllic life roaming free around the countryside on bicycles with friends. He had a strong inclination towards art from very early on and received much encouragement from parents and relatives. One lasting motivation that got more intense as he grew up was not knowing his biological father whom was also a painter. This helped to give creating art that feeling of connecting and getting to know something of his father as well as a sense of gaining a strength and skill from him.
Having studied foundation art at Banbury and a BA in Visual art at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, Merlin has successfully been creating art full time for the past 5 years and is currently specialising in painting live at events and plein air work alongside commissions he works on in his studio.